Monday, July 13, 2015

Endless Sky Blog Hop Challenge

Welcome to this month's Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Blog Hop. The theme selected by Andrew Thornton, Creative Director at Allegory Gallery, is called "Endless Sky." Andrew assembled the kit contents using aquamarine's cool, blue color as the inspiration. The kit contained Czech glass beads, vintage lucite, quartz rock crystal, vintage glass, waxed Irish linen, 3 feet of hand-dyed recycled sari silk ribbon, aquamarine chip strand, vintage Venetian seed beads, and a Luxury Bead Blend.

As you can see, the palette brings to mind a cloud-filled sky. Do you like rainy days? Bright blue skies that stretch toward the horizon? Or skies dotted with cotton candy clouds in the shape of dragons or whatever your mind's eye can envision? I loved the inspiration behind this theme. I hope you enjoy my interpretation in my designs. Here is where the "magic" happens...
First, I wanted to give a bit of 'process' or the method to my madness when I start to work on a kit. I decided to step out of my comfort zone a bit and work with Arashi/Shibori ribbon and bead embroidery. I decided to use a beautiful color way called "Cape Cod Blue," hand-dyed by Deborah Weaver of ArtisticWeavers on Etsy. I wanted to make a rain-drop shape, but I am a terrible free-hand drawer so I decided to put my Mad Mathemagician skills to use. I used the donut-shaped bead to trace a circle onto Nicole's Bead Backing and made a cone by placing a dot outside the circle and connecting straight lines to meet the edge of the circle.

The end result is a pendant adorned with crystals, seed beads and sequins.

I made a coordinating pair of earrings using the Czech pressed glass and crystal beads.

Next, this just in from the "It's A Small World" newsroom: I won a ceramic bead set on the Ceramic
Art Bead Market made by Michelle Ann McCarthy. Then I find out that Michelle is also a participant in the Design Challenge Blog Hops! As a gift, she sent this adorable blue, ceramic bird link with a heart. I decided that the bird fit the theme of this challenge perfectly, so I connected it to brass branch connectors and wire wrapped green glass and aventurine chips to mimic leaves on trees. I also used the little bird charms that came with the branches and more Czech glass and Sodalite beads to make a coordinating pair of earrings.

Finally, I used the Mystery Component, a polymer clay pendant handmade by Andrew himself. The stamped cloud design was a perfect match for the strand of Aquamarine chips. I used wire to attach the chips to a silver chain, like thunderheads climbing into the atmosphere, and suspended the pendant using the waxed Irish linen cord. Various beads from the kit were used as dangles. I made another pair of earrings to give the necklace an "April Showers Bring May Flowers" theme.

That is all I have for this month's challenge. I am vacationing in rainy Seattle (how appropriate!), but you can view the other blog hop participants' designs by visiting Andrew Thornton's blog. Thanks for stopping by!